Have You Seen This Woman? is written by Jessie-Ann Kohlman, Grace Godvin and Greer Cohen, with direction by Grace Godvin. The show is a whirlwind, manic ride from start to finish. The play tells the story of Naomi's emotionally volatile relationship with her mother. Naomi was raised by a single mom whose beauty Naomi has identified as a source of trauma. After a distraught rejection from her college boyfriend, she gets into a fight with her mom, ending in sirens and pleas of innocence. This hilarious solo show is performed by Jessie-Ann Kolman.
Before Kohlman even steps onto the scene, the set design has already stirred curiosity. Between the beanie-wearing male mannequin and the large metal trash bin topped with red gloves, intrigue filled the house. Kohlman entered in a bright pink, iridescently sequined strapless dress she said was her mother's favorite. Already, a picture is forming of the woman in question. As Kohlman weaved between flashbacks and the present moment, she tried to convey to the audience why she felt so strongly about her mother. The script used repetition of motifs and metaphors to beautifully paint the picture without ever taking itself too seriously.
The combination of textual wit and Kohlman's comedic timing made for moments of delectable dark humor. While unlikable at times in her grandiosity, Naomi remained entertaining, charming and cheeky. Kohlman's evocative body language helped to sell the jumps in time the story makes as Naomi attempts to justify her actions. Kohlman's charm as a performer undoubtedly bleeds into the character's ability to sell the reasoning for her crime.
Alongside Kohlman's acting talents, the lighting design helped sell this story. Switching on a dime from Naomi's altered post-crime vision of "seeing red" to the lights of a police team coming to arrest Naomi, the lighting was beautifully versatile. As a whole, the technical elements of the show shone brightly.
Have You Seen This Woman? leaves the audience with questions. that will stick with folks long after the performance. The show smartly does not solve the details of the crime. The clever script, expert acting and creative technical work make this solo performance impossible to forget.
“Have You Seen This Woman?”
Written by: Jessie-Ann Kohlman, Grace Godvin, & Greer Cohen
Performed by Jessie-Ann Kohlman Directed by Grace Godvin
November 9 and 13, 2022 https://unitedsolo.org/have-you-seen-this-woman/
The 13th United Solo Festival
October 4- November 20, 2022
410 West 42nd (btw 9th and 10th Avenue)
Carmen is a Brooklyn-based writer and actor, originally from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, currently based in Brooklyn. They have worked with prominent theaters off-Broadway and regionally. Their mission is to use play to create artful representation by and for underrepresented communities. In addition to theatre, Carmen holds love in their heart for drag performance, crafting, a good memoir and their cats. www.carmenburbridge.info